When should I recharge my AC?
Air conditioning needs refrigerant in order to cool, and sometimes a refrigerant recharge is needed. But what is refrigerant recharge? Refrigerant recharge is the product that is added to the air conditioning that allows the air to keep blowing cold air.
An important fact about refrigerant recharge is that typically if an air conditioner needs more, there is something wrong with the system. It is with that in mind we’ll answer some common and frequent questions that will educate and inform you. And if you find yourself in need of refrigerant recharge in Orange, CA, the Elite HVAC can be there to help – just call at (714) 464-6622.
Why do you have to recharge AC?
Your air conditioning relies on refrigerant; it is the lifeblood it needs to function. Refrigerant is the substance that absorbs heat from inside the home and carries it outside. Without the refrigerant substance, the entire cooling process of the air conditioning system doesn’t work. This is why if an air conditioner is low on refrigerant, a recharge is necessary to get the unit cooling again.
Can you recharge a home air conditioner?
Yes, there is recharge refrigerant for home ac units. However, it should be understood that the refrigerant level in a home air conditioning does not get lower the more you use it. The refrigerant in a home air conditioning unit cycles with itself between the indoor and outdoor components. If all components are working as they are designed and intended to, the system should always have the same level of refrigerant. A refrigerant recharge shouldn’t ever be needed as long as the system is working properly.
There are two circumstances in which an air conditioner may need refrigerant recharge:
- A refrigerant leak. The most common reason for a low refrigerant level is a leak in one of the refrigerant lines. If this happens the line needs to be patched or replaced before a refrigerant recharge is done.
- An undercharged system. If a system wasn’t charged sufficiently upon installation, it will need a refrigerant recharge.
Another important note about refrigerant charging for ac in a home, business, or vehicle is that it must be done by a certified and licensed technician. This is because refrigerant is a government monitored substance, much like prescription medications, and not something that can be purchased off th shelf today.
How do you recharge your AC?
If somebody suggests that your air conditioning needs a refrigerant recharge, adding more of the substance that makes it absorb the heat and pushes it outside, keep in mind that this isn’t a DIY project. With the EPA regulations that are in place today, AKA the law, a refrigerant recharge can only be done by a certified professional that has been trained in how to recharge refrigerant central air conditioners and licensed to administer this process.
How much refrigerant do I need?
This is one of the important things technicians receive training for when it comes to working with air conditioning systems. The basic rule followed for the amount of refrigerant recharge needed for a residential air conditioning unit is two to four pounds.
How much does it cost to recharge AC?
Since an air conditioner should never run low on refrigerant, recharge is only done when there is a leak, and the cost of the recharge will depend on what the certified technician finds wrong. The leak will need to be patched or the line that’s leaking will need to be replaced, if possible. After that, the refrigerant recharge takes place. Because it is charged by the pound, how many pounds a unit needs will also determine the cost of the refrigerant recharge, parts, and labor.
An experienced certified technician will discuss the problem found and advise you if repairing the unit and the refrigerant recharge is worthwhile or if you should get a new unit. If the unit is older, a refrigerant recharge is only a temporary fix.
Closing Words – When Should You Replace the Unit?
There are times when replacing your system is the better option financially:
- A central air conditioning system that is 15 years old should be replaced instead of having the refrigerant recharged. New air conditioners will give you up to 20 years lifespan while older ones typically have lifespans of about 12 to 15 years. However, even an older air conditioning system that has been properly maintained and had routine service calls with no refrigerant recharge needs could last 20 years.
- The most common issue with air conditioners is lack of a homeowner maintenance routine. Making annual service calls and keeping the air filter changed are two big issues that are often overlooked and often the big reason for a system breakdown. If you have to sink money into repairs for the unit every summer month, it is time for replacement.
- It isn’t unusual if the energy bill shoots up a little each summer. However, if it isn’t going back down after summer, or it shoots up to an unreasonably extremely high amount, your central air conditioning unit is possibly malfunctioning and not providing you with energy efficient cooling.
- If your air condition system is using the R-22 refrigerant, as of 2020 it is outdated, as this is no longer manufactured, and not being sold to anyone. Replacing your AC unit is your only option should it need a refrigerant recharge.
Whatever the case may be, if you find yourself in need of a refrigerant recharge in Orange, CA, you can rely on the professionals at Elite HVAC to help. All you need to do is call us today at (714) 464-6622.